Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Leo Triplet

Here's one from last Saturday night. That was one of those nights when it probably would have been better to stay inside. It was clear, although my Clear Sky Clock (see link at bottom of blog) was showing below average seeing conditions. This was probably due to the wind, which occasionally gusted up to 15 mph. I started this imaging sequence about midnight, when Leo was in a decent position in the sky. I went back inside for a snack and a quick nap, then came back out at 2AM to check the progress. Much to my disappointment, the sky had completely clouded over while I was napping, and my mount was guiding off to la-la land. I packed up at that point and went to bed. Several of my exposures had to be discarded due to the wind blowing everything around. I salvaged about 25 exposures of 3-minutes each, at ISO 1600. Not bad for my first galaxies - but man, are these things small! This image is a crop of about 1/4 of the full frame.

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